Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad is opposed to the third bridge linking Johor and Singapore and unity talk between UMNO and PAS.
He has, in no uncertain term, made his feeling known that a unity government comprising only Malays is not good for the nation and he should be lauded for it.
However, looking at the position that UMNO is in now, and the lame and ineffectual MCA, MIC and Gerakan, do they have a choice?
Majority of Chinese and Indians voted for Pakatan's candidates in the 12th General Elections and needless to say the support from these two communities have faltered even further and the outcome of the 13th General Elections would be a forgone conclusion that Gerakan, MCA and MIC would be as dead as the dodo.These three parties are goners if they don't shape up now.
Instead of going out to the field to woo back their supporters the three beleaguered components of the BN are mired with infighting and leadership tussles.The excessive desire for their over-staying leaders to hang on to power, no matter what the consequence, is most appalling.
People like MIC President Samy Velu has been there longest, longer than the longest serving prime minister but still refuses to let go despite having been rejected by the people.His continued presence as President of MIC actually kills the party chance of recovering from its massive loss of support and shocking defeat.
The Indian community have rejected him and deserted the party in droves. What left of the party are losers and political stragglers hoping for miracles. In fact, the BN should have pronounced MIC and Gerakan dead.What's the point of flogging two dead horses when you know you can't depend on them to win the race.Between the two there are only 5 parliamentary seats at stake, MIC 3 and Gerakan 2.
MCA is also mired in leadership crisis and some of its leaders were implicated in the PKFZ(Port Klang Free Zone) scandal.The leaders in MCA should consider merging with Gerakan to form a bigger Chinese party if they want to take on DAP at the next general elections.It will be tough going for MCA to lure back the Chinese but miracles can and do happen sometimes.At the moment MCA has 15 parliamentary seats against DAP 28.
I agree with Mahathir that a Malay unity government is not good for the nation but politics has no hard and fast rules, it's about survival.The end justify the means.Its a case of Hobson's choice, you have many options but there is only one that can guarantee your survival.
Najib is in a dillema, his first priority is how to win the next elections.To stick to the present formula where the other partners are on their death throes or take a gamble on a new formula?
Can the Malays achieve political homogeneity ? It's a scary idea but not beyond comprehension. If you go by population and demarcation of the electoral boundaries, it is not impossible for Malays to have homogeneous political power.There are about 136-140 predominantly Malay seats throughout the nation and with some marginal seats the number could increase even more.
The non-Malay seats in the March 2008 Election are shown below:
UMNO biggest problem is in Peninsula Malaysia where the Malays are divided between PAS and UMNO with majority still in favour of UMNO.
If Sabah and Sarawak delivered the same performance as they did in March 2008 and the Malays are re-united in Peninsula than the Malays can even have two-third majority.
Although, I personally do not subscribe to such an idea and believe political power should be shared among the races, I wouldn't remotely rule out the possibility of it happening if PAS decide to abandon Pakatan Rakyat.
If PAS stays with Pakatan until the next general elections and insisted on contesting majority of Malay seats there is a likelihood it would become the dominant partner in Pakatan easing out PKR and Anwar Ibrahim chance at the premiership.
Being the leading partner PAS will take the prime spot and play the same role as UMNO now.PKR only has 20 Malays MP seats at present and 11 non-Malay seats and due to it multi-racial nature the Malays are not likely to give it more seats than PAS.
Will PAS snuggles up to UMNO's duvet?
Much depend on PAS.